For foreign companies wishing to explore market opportunities or manage its company affairs without conducting any commercial activities in Singapore, a representative office is an option to consider. Essentially, a representative office in Singapore is registered as a temporary arrangement for conducting marketing research activities or feasibility studies on behalf of its parent company.
A representative office does not have any legal status and thus, cannot be engaged in any commercial or revenue yielding activities, or enter into any contracts or transactions. Like a branch office, a representative office is not a separately incorporated entity; its liabilities extend to its parent company. As a representative office does not have any legal status nor is it allowed to be engaged in any commercial activities, it does not need to file nor maintain any statutory document or submit tax returns in Singapore.
To register a representative office, the foreign company must contact International Enterprise Singapore, which is the registration authority for representative offices for all sectors except banking, finance and insurance. Foreign companies in these sectors must register with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Since a representative office is meant to be temporary, it must be converted into a subsidiary company or branch office if the parent company wishes to continue its operation in Singapore after three years.
A representative office is suitable for foreign companies that wish to set up an administrative office to explore business opportunities in Singapore or coordinate activities on behalf of its parent company.
VOPlus can advise you on the most suitable type of business entity for your business and help you convert a private limited company in Singapore promptly. Contact us today for a consultation!